The Student Room Group

Torn between medicine or speech and language therapy- need help

I just firmed medicine with a foundation year at University of East Anglia and my insurance is Speech and Language Therapy at University of Reading.
Lately, (since knowing about the lack of control over your location as a doctor in training) I have really been questioning my decision to pursue a career in medicine. There are so many sacrifices to make for... no reason??
Like,
- awful work-life balance
- no control over location in F1/F2
- no control over location in training
- very long training
- emotional damage
- little support.

On the other hand, I can go UoR, study Speech and Language Therapy and graduate at 21/22 and have 99% chance of finding a job with great life balance, no night shifts, and no staying after work because a patient is in literal danger. I also feel like some of the junior doctors I've talked to on work experience regret their decision but are stuck in the system now that they have studied 5 years to become doctors.

I only took a fancy for medicine since I am 15, before that, I wanted to become a writer/something to do with education. (but not a teacher)
I feel like Speech and Language Therapy would be my inner child's dream job, however I am scared of graduating at 21 and not having a clear path laid out for me. I working as a doctor for the NHS means your are almost exploited, BUT you have no decisions to make since the system decides for you, which is quite comfortable.

I also don't know if I will enjoy the SLT job (I did shadowing, but it was a very restricted part of what SLTs do) but I know that medicine might suck the joy out of my life. I am the type of person that really gets affected by their environment and will literally soak up bad vibes and bring them home to simmer. (idk if that makes sense)

Anyways, any advice from a doctor/someone with more insight? SLT was supposed to be my back up plan but now I don't really know anymore.

useful precision: Slt is what my mom wanted me to do, Medicine what my dad wanted me to do (but neither are deadset on it) I wanted to be a writer and to change the education system when I was 11 (??) but neither are an actual job so I just did like someone that has no personality whatsoever and followed what my parents thought suited me.
Original post by Anonymous
I just firmed medicine with a foundation year at University of East Anglia and my insurance is Speech and Language Therapy at University of Reading.
Lately, (since knowing about the lack of control over your location as a doctor in training) I have really been questioning my decision to pursue a career in medicine. There are so many sacrifices to make for... no reason??
Like,
- awful work-life balance
- no control over location in F1/F2
- no control over location in training
- very long training
- emotional damage
- little support.
On the other hand, I can go UoR, study Speech and Language Therapy and graduate at 21/22 and have 99% chance of finding a job with great life balance, no night shifts, and no staying after work because a patient is in literal danger. I also feel like some of the junior doctors I've talked to on work experience regret their decision but are stuck in the system now that they have studied 5 years to become doctors.
I only took a fancy for medicine since I am 15, before that, I wanted to become a writer/something to do with education. (but not a teacher)
I feel like Speech and Language Therapy would be my inner child's dream job, however I am scared of graduating at 21 and not having a clear path laid out for me. I working as a doctor for the NHS means your are almost exploited, BUT you have no decisions to make since the system decides for you, which is quite comfortable.
I also don't know if I will enjoy the SLT job (I did shadowing, but it was a very restricted part of what SLTs do) but I know that medicine might suck the joy out of my life. I am the type of person that really gets affected by their environment and will literally soak up bad vibes and bring them home to simmer. (idk if that makes sense)
Anyways, any advice from a doctor/someone with more insight? SLT was supposed to be my back up plan but now I don't really know anymore.
useful precision: Slt is what my mom wanted me to do, Medicine what my dad wanted me to do (but neither are deadset on it) I wanted to be a writer and to change the education system when I was 11 (??) but neither are an actual job so I just did like someone that has no personality whatsoever and followed what my parents thought suited me.

I’m a med applicant too.. I’d say med is smth if you’re going in to you should be certain that it is what you wanna do. For all the reasons you’ve mentioned they do put me off, but what pulls me back in is that I really really want to physically impact and help lives. And after shadowing I like the fast-pace of everything. This outweighs the negatives for me. So if you don’t have smth pushing you, it’ll be hard for you to stay motivated in med skl for such a big workload and stress physically and mentally. It’s a long career, after the 5 years there’s the 2 years then the 3-8 years.. you might burn out doing smth you don’t love, or drop out like many do. This is basically what a lot of junior docs advised to me (a couple also advised me to not pursue medicine if I want a life but here we are 😂)

Think really hard about any personal reasons you might want to do medicine, and think about if it’s worth it, cos it’s basically giving ur life to this profession not to be dramatic or anything lmao. I don’t know much about slt, but I do think you will still be helping people live better lives if that is smth u want in a career, just with less of the disadvantages u mentioned. And a better work-life balance which u need to decide if that’s smth u value the most. See if the career prospects are okay for after you graduate, talk to anyone in the field and get many honest opinions.

Take my advice w a pinch of salt I’m just in year 13 putting my two cents in 🙂 hope it all ends up well
Original post by Anonymous
I just firmed medicine with a foundation year at University of East Anglia and my insurance is Speech and Language Therapy at University of Reading.
Lately, (since knowing about the lack of control over your location as a doctor in training) I have really been questioning my decision to pursue a career in medicine. There are so many sacrifices to make for... no reason??
Like,
- awful work-life balance
- no control over location in F1/F2
- no control over location in training
- very long training
- emotional damage
- little support.
On the other hand, I can go UoR, study Speech and Language Therapy and graduate at 21/22 and have 99% chance of finding a job with great life balance, no night shifts, and no staying after work because a patient is in literal danger. I also feel like some of the junior doctors I've talked to on work experience regret their decision but are stuck in the system now that they have studied 5 years to become doctors.
I only took a fancy for medicine since I am 15, before that, I wanted to become a writer/something to do with education. (but not a teacher)
I feel like Speech and Language Therapy would be my inner child's dream job, however I am scared of graduating at 21 and not having a clear path laid out for me. I working as a doctor for the NHS means your are almost exploited, BUT you have no decisions to make since the system decides for you, which is quite comfortable.
I also don't know if I will enjoy the SLT job (I did shadowing, but it was a very restricted part of what SLTs do) but I know that medicine might suck the joy out of my life. I am the type of person that really gets affected by their environment and will literally soak up bad vibes and bring them home to simmer. (idk if that makes sense)
Anyways, any advice from a doctor/someone with more insight? SLT was supposed to be my back up plan but now I don't really know anymore.
useful precision: Slt is what my mom wanted me to do, Medicine what my dad wanted me to do (but neither are deadset on it) I wanted to be a writer and to change the education system when I was 11 (??) but neither are an actual job so I just did like someone that has no personality whatsoever and followed what my parents thought suited me.

Hey Anonymous,
I would definitely build on other advice and say it is important to choose something that feels right to you, not just what you think is expected. I think you can make a great, rewarding life/career out of either, but it's important to remember you're not tied to those paths forever! You can retrain or even go abroad to use those skills and find an environment you prefer if you think the current one isn't for you. A hard lesson I've learned is that life isn't designed to be comfortable - it's always changing and it can be hard to keep up, but as long as you're doing things that you love and are passionate about, it will be a lot less difficult because you have more motivation to navigate the difficult parts such as work environment. You still have some time to decide so definitely have a long think about it, but remember its natural to doubt your decisions, and whilst I don't know too much about careers in the NHS I am sure that a lot of those factors vary depending on where you decide to work, so try not to think worst case scenario!

I hope you found this at least slightly helpful - if you have any questions about SLT in more detail please ask us!
Kat :smile:
MA Diplomacy Student

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